Baseball Glove Review – by Dog Musgrave

Product Reviews   |   Jun 6, 2014

When it comes to gloves in obstacle racing there are three main schools of thought:

1. Those who prefer wearing them to protect their hands
2. Those that do not
3. And those few with superiority complexes who think that gloves should be banned and if you wear them you are weak (yet shoes are somehow acceptable for these people?  Hypocrisy much?)

If you are from Group 2 then this product review is not for you and you should go and do something more productive with your life like go for a run.

If you are from Group 3 then this product is certainly not for you and you should go and just get a life.

But if like me you are from Group 1 and don’t have a handful of calluses and are looking for just a modicum of extra protection and comfort then read on.

I will start this review proper by prefacing that I am a nerd. I work with computers all day. I do not spend hours at a gym or Crossfit studio playing with kettlebells and ropes and other fun implements that harden up one’s hands. When I do weights at High Tide beach bootcamp on the Central Coast which I attend two or three times a week I use Sandbells instead of barbells.  I am very much an 83%’er.

As such, my hands are like many other casual obstacle racers’ hands and susceptible to blisters, cuts and bruising, and in the five years that I have been doing obstacle course racing I have come to appreciate a bit of protection when crawling, climbing, clambering and crashing.  (I also like wearing shoes to keep my feet protected, so I guess I’m doubly soft to all the Group 3 gang.)

My first pair of gloves were leather or leatherish weight-lifting gloves.  They were okay and did provide decent protection, but did not handle the full immersion in water and mud too well and didn’t really last past the first outing.  I then switched to cycling gloves but round they retained too much water in the padding over the palm and whilst they too gave a little protection they weren’t what I was looking for.

Whilst in Bunnings I saw some gloves called Madgrips which lived up to their name of gripping some obstacles incredibly well – in some cases possibly too well – but found they got pretty waterlogged even with the fingertips cut off and did reduce tactile sensation due to the thickness of the rubber over the palms and fingers.

But then, one day whilst browsing through Rebel Sport I found myself looking at the baseball gloves.  Not the big things for catching the ball with but the ones that batters wear when hitting.  They are a light, thin, synthetic leather-like material which doesn’t soak up water, provides good grip and ample protection, and with the velcro wristband are very snug and won’t get yanked off your hands whilst hanging on monkey bars or pulling oneself up over the top of a wall.

miz_fran_bg_personal

The ones I grabbed were Mizuno Franchise batting gloves.  They were $39.95 but you can pick them up online for less and they are effectively like wearing another layer of skin.  Most of the time you don’t even feel like you are wearing gloves at all.

If you are one who likes fingerless gloves then 42 seconds and a pair of scissors takes care of this for you, but doing so will reduce the longevity of your gloves as the seams on the fingers will start unravelling eventually where you cut.  If you do go the fingerless option I strongly recommend going nuts with the scissors when you are NOT wearing them!

Durability-wise, I’ve worn them in 19 races now and apart from the seams coming lose at the end of the fingers where I cut them off, the only issue I have had is that the seam in between two of the fingers suffered a tear on a tree branch that got caught in the ventilation hole there.  That being said, this happened at XOCR in December and six months later the tear has not worsened one bit and other than that these babies have endured an environment and punishment they were not designed for most admirably.

So if you are a Group 1 Obstacle Racer who has been looking around for the perfect type of obstacle racing glove and have not been fully impressed with other styles like bicycle gloves or gardening gloves or fitness gloves then you may like to check out baseball batting gloves.

gloves

These are just about ready for the bin, but they got me through:

  • Suck It Up Buttercup
  • XOCR
  • Holt Bolt
  • Mud Run Emerald
  • Tough Bloke Challenge Melbourne
  • Mad Cow Mud Run
  • Dirt Wars Survivor
  • Raw Challenge Central Coast
  • Burnie Challenge
  • Spartan Race Sydney
  • Mud Sweat & Beers
  • Titan Macquarie
  • Running Scared
  • Blood Sweat & Fears
  • Run For Your Freakn’ Life
  • Newcastle Surf n Turf
  • Raw Challenge Barrington Tops
  • Gold Coast Mudd Rush
  • Holt Bolt
  • Bye bye!

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